Or so some fundamentalist wackos out there seem to think...
The good news is that the government of Québec has decided to offer the HPV vaccine Gardasil to girls from Grade 4 and up, as part of an initiative to fight cancer. The immunization campaign is schedule to start next September.
This is great because the fact that it is will be covered by public health care will encourage more girls and women to be vaccinated early enough for the product to be fully effective, as many women hesitated because of the high cost of the vaccine.
Hopefully, there hasn't been much debate in Québec (or in the ROC, for that matter) concerning the so-called "moral aspects" of HPV vaccination of young girls.
Of course, there has been some distasteful articles published in various newspapers (namely, a piece from the Globe and Mail in which the author ponders whether parents should get their daughters vaccinated, given that they might thereby be encouraged to have sex).
Overall though, there has not been the same type of excessive, alarmist reaction than in the US, probably on account of the fact that religious groups have not as much invaded the political and public sphere at large.
However, some religious groups have publicly opposed the decision of provincial governments to offer the vaccine to young girls and women. A telling example occurred in Newfoundland, where the Right to Life Association of Newfoundland protested that HPV vaccination was a mistake carrying public health and morals consequences, as it would - du-uh! - give teenages girls the "green light" to become "promiscuous".
Unimportant though as it seems, this example is extremely interesting, from a feminist point of view, in that it reveals the true colours of so-called "pro-lifers".
Breaking news, folks : Just in cases you didn't know, pro-lifers are idiotic, retrograde bigots.
'Cause we all know that a human being’s right to life does not extend to (real, actual, living) women. Those folks would rather like women to forgo a life-saving technology (you know, “life-saving”, as in, you’d think “pro-life”) rather than remotely seem to acknowledge a state of affairs in which female sexuality – gasp! – exists outside the patriarchical, male-oriented institution of marriage.
Those people interchangeably use the word “promiscuity” for sex of the extra-marital kind, thereby implying that unmarried sex is sinful, wrong or socially unacceptable. Seriously, what kind of people would say or even imply such things?
The kind of people who are not even remotely interested in saving women’s lives, and improving our health conditions. Let's not be blind about it. The efforts of such people are really about controlling women’s sexuality, and maintaining men’s patriarchical authority over them. They simply want to make sure that a woman’s sexual desire, sexual organs and reproductive capacity remain the property of a single, identifiable male, as measurable and marketable assets.